What’s Your Next Step???

Cindy2015It is a brand new year!

Are you moving strong…or, still stuck?

Are you ready…or, are you a bit reluctant?

Busting at the seams to kick off your New Year…or, are you just sick at the thought of yet another year?

Reaching your resolutions…or…are they already a bust?

Are there things that you would really like to see changed by January 2013? TODAY is the day to make that commitment! If you sincerely want to see change, you have to begin today!

Sunday was a MILESTONE. Did you miss it? It is not too late! Pull away for a bit today. Set your resolutions. Set reachable resolutions.

1. Start with an honest evaluation!

Where are you?
Are you where you want to be?
What do you want?
What do you need?
What is it going to take to get where you want to be?
Are there things that you want to see changed?

Don’t get locked into the same old, same old repetive behaviours. Don’t get stuck in the same old rut. If we are not moving forward, reaching for resolutions, goals, and dreams, we are not living the life that Christ died to give us. Where are you now?

2. Set goals!

Today, set a goal! It is your NEXT STEP. You may not be able to get where you want to go TODAY…or this week…or this month…or even this year. However, don’t let that keep you stuck in a rut!

Today, look at where you want to go. Get a vision! Can you reach it? Do you believe that you can? Well, set goals, steps, to get there. Don’t think it is possible? Well, ask yourself–what IS possible? What do you think you CAN DO? Let’s set goals to get moving toward that! Don’t let yourself get stuck! Set goals that will make your proud!

Test your goals all along the way– is it….

  • Small–Small enough to reach with ONE STEP? Baby steps?
  • Clear–Can you see how to get there or is it still FUZZY? Make sure it is FOCUSED!
  • Purposeful–We must have PURPOSE or otherwise we will fail, fade out, give in to excuses, get distracted, quit, go astray, procrastinate, get off track and misdirected, and GET STUCK!
  • Actionable–A goal that you CAN and WILL dare to take action, massive action, to accomplish NOW. Not a wish. Something that you are READY TO DO.
  • Specific–What, why, and by when? Describe it? Be specific about what you want, why you want it, when you want it done! BE SPECIFIC–the more specific the more likely you will be to reach it!
  • Definable–It isn’t a goal unless you can define what you want. Otherwise, it is just a WISH.
  • Definitive–Get an idea of when you can accomplish it! Set a deadline! No more maybe’s or someday’s. Let’s set a date! Let’s set a deadline of when you can do THIS!
  • Reachable, doable, attainable–No more self-sabotage! Self-sabotage is when we set a goal that we KNOW is just impossible from where we are. We let ourselves down. Then, we get into a place where we don’t believe ourselves any more. Don’t self-sabotage! Set goals that are just out of reach and get moving toward them. You can attain it! You can do it! You can reach it!
  • Realistic–No more pie in the sky goals! Slow down and get realistic! Otherwise, your goals and resolutions will frustrate you and discourage you. You will LOSE your motivation! Let’s set smaller, REAL goals.
  • Measurable–Be EXACT and VERY SPECIFIC about what you want! You need to be able to measure it. Otherwise, you won’t know what is neeeded. Also, you will never know when you have got there!
  • WRITTEN–Write it out! Write it out TODAY! “Goals not in writing are just wishes.” Brain dump! Get those goals out of your head and onto paper! Put them on your calendar. Plan it out–with LOTS OF MARGIN! Put them into your to-do’s each day. Focus on each task until done!

3. Get MOVING!

So many people never even try to reach for their resolutions, goals and dreams.

  • They immediately discard them.
  • They don’t slow down to truly SET THEM.
  • They trip up and quit.
  • They can’t seem to work them in.
  • And, many never get going because they never take that first step.

I have been asking God to show me when I am not moving forward in an area, to help me know that first step, and to give me the power to get moving. That first step is the key! In fact, my preacher said this weekend that the hardest part of working out is “to tie your tennis shoes.” Why? It is that FIRST STEP!

My dear friend, what is that FIRST STEP?

I know it can be scary. I know it can be intimidating. But, today, ask God to show you those areas where you have not been moving forward–building a godly marriage, quiet times, ministering to the hearts of your children, getting out of debt, building a business of your own, getting fit and healthy, getting your home decluttered, etc. Ask Him to show you what He wants for you to do and to show you that first step so you can get up and get moving–He will! Ask him to empower you and give you everything you need as you step out. My sweet friend, HE WILL! Just get started with that first step! GET MOVING!

My dear friend, you have a NEW year ahead of you! It is time for a NEW BEGINNING! Dare to set your resolutions this year. Don’t let this year slip by. You CAN do it! Set those resolutions. Set goals to take you step-by-step toward your resolutions. Keep them before you. MOVE OUT! Celebrate your victories all along the way! You will reach your resolutions one step at a time–what is your step today?

Psst! A Secret to Scheduling Success! by Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015Want to know one of my biggest secrets to homeschooling the easy way? Want to know one of my biggest secrets to scheduling success? This one secret can make your daily schedule finally fit. It can end your scheduling frustrations forever.

I am not a “schedule by the minute” type of person. (GRIN)  I fail with schedules like that. They don’t meet my needs. My life includes too many areas that have different needs daily. Timed schedules just do not work for me.

So, what has worked for me? Setting up a framework to my day. This is one incredibly powerful tip. It can make a HUGE difference in your day as well. It just might be the secret that has alluded you through the years.

Wondering what I mean by a “framework” for your day? By framework, I mean a general flow to each day that includes all of the areas of my life that I juggle. But, how do I do that? Here are some quick tips:

1. Decide what should be included in your daily schedule.
Look at what you are all about. Look at your goals, activities, values, priorities. Look at your husband’s schedule–wrap everything around him. Look at what you need to include in your day to get everything done–quiet times, lessons, homemaking, read alouds, work, etc. This is important. Otherwise, you will include things in your schedule that may not be the very best choices. And…one big risk…you may never get around to the things that matter the most. Decide what really needs to be a part of each and every day for your day to be successful.

2. Decide the best time for the tasks you need to complete each day. This will help you get a good flow to your day. For me, quiet times are just best at the beginning of the day. Chores are great right after them–I need them completed so my brain can focus on the table time.  Our business work and errands need to be done in the early afternoon. Read alouds are best before bedtime.  You get the picture. When I tried to read aloud over lunch, we had so many distractions that we could never fit it in. Trying to work the business in the morning would never work…and of course, we couldn’t take care of business errands at night. See how important it is to really look at the best time to get tasks done. Look at the best time for all of the tasks that need to be done. Look at the best flow to get everything done easily each day. You may not get this right at the beginning, but you will get closer and closer each day. You will love it!

3. Balance your day.
Don’t let any one area of your life get out of balance. Everything that we do in our day has a tendency to grow into a big time thief–homeschooling, homemaking, home business. Those important aspects of our life can easily grow out of their boundaries. While I love each of them, they can get rather exhausting if we don’t keep them in balance with the other things that we have to do. The best way for me to stay balanced is to be reasonable about what I expect for each day, keep things simplified and easy, and keep everything inside of its time of the day. I don’t mind those days that we want to dig deeper in a topic that we are studying. I also don’t mind those days that we tackle a messy room. I don’t even mind those days that we have a special business project that needs more time. But, if those areas were demanding extra time every day, it would be easy to get burned-out, frustrated and battle with our time each day. Want to make it work? Find a balance for your day.

4. Set up routines.
Talk about a HUGE help for me. Without routines, things can get so frustrating every day–there are constant decisions, there is more strife in the family, there is no consistency. Routines help us to make things go faster, without the strife and struggle of figuring things out DAILY. Routines reduce the stress of making decisions daily. Routines help our children to know what to expect so they can move through all of the things that they need to do each day. Routines are crucial. They assure a smooth ride. They keep us on track. They keep us out of the ruts. They take us in the direction that we want to go. One of the toughest things I ever did was develop routines in my home. However, one of the most rewarding things that I ever did was develop routines in my home. When I got very, very sick, everything kept going. During those times that I have been stretched, things kept on going. All because of routines. Set up routines. Then, your children will know what to expect. They will learn what is next and next and next. The decisions will be made for you. They will be able to “just do it” with or without you. Set up routines for your family. Develop one set of routines at a time–look for the time of day that things go haywire. If it is morning, for example, look at all that needs to be done. Brainstorm. Make a to-do list for that routine. Write it out. Work it as a checklist until it becomes a habit. If you see other things that need to be added into that set of routines, add them. Tweak it until it is smooth. Then, move to the next troublespot. Do this for all of the times of your day. Watch to see how much it helps!

5. Prune anything that is not necessary. Truth is, we cannot do everything. What we do in our day keeps us from doing other things. It zaps our time, energy, strength. We need to be picky about what we add to our day. Every single thing that we do costs us something. We need to constantly prune those things that are not necessary. Prune anything that hinders, distracts. Be honest. Be ruthless. Prune. Even the good things! Go for the best!

6. Take the squeeze out of your schedule. Watch out for the squeeze in your schedule. Don’t fill every minute of your day with something to do. Why? Because there are always going to be crisis situations, interruptions, melt-downs, delays. If we have our schedule maxed out, we will constantly be overwhelmed, overworked, and squeezed. Find ways to take the squeeze out of your daily schedule–cut out extra running, watch out for time thieves, prioritize your daily to-do’s (and eliminate any that make the day too tight), cut out extras that are unnecessary, keep the day simple and easy. Keep a relaxed atmosphere. Constantly, take the squeeze out of your daily schedule.

7. Stay flexible! Stay adaptable! Actually, one of the reasons that we really want to develop a framework to our day is so we have more flexibility, so we have more “space” in our day to be adaptable. We want to be able to seize opportunities that come our way. We want to be able to slow down and enjoy our children. We don’t want to miss teachable moments. These days just go by too fast. We want to enjoy every second. We want to make sweet, sweet memories. This requires that we stay flexible and adaptable. So, take the time to develop your own framework to your day. Do the tough work. Get your plans together. Work on these suggestions. Then, stay flexible. Stay adaptable. Grasp on to all that God has in store for you!

Need MORE Help?

Check out Cindy’s New Organized Mom Super Set! It is full of great ebooks and audios that will help take you by the hand and plan the best homeschool year ever!

Unplug! by Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015We just got back from a fabulous trip to Italy. Ok, soak this in…VENICE! Oh! YEAH!

On this trip, I was able to check off three, yes three, of my biggies on “My Bucket List.” It was a spectacular trip! And, it was more than just the trip or the place, God was speaking to my heart the whole way. In fact, He is still teaching me lessons from Italy and we have been home a week! 🙂 Just today, He taught me another lesson as I opened my laptop! REALLY! Well, stick with me….

Before I left for Italy, I was on stress overload. I was hoping that Italy would be my “catch-up” time. Well, OBVIOUSLY I had never travelled abroad, much less to Italy. Ha! Italy was perfect for my stress overload. I was forced to getaway, refresh, renew, unplug, and make sweet memories. It was incredible. In fact, I am forever changed from my trip to Italy–more on that in a bit. [Read more…]

Quick Tips For the Perpetually Late, Disorganized, Stressed Out Mom! By Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015Does this SPEAK to you?  Nothing is more frustrating than great intentions but failure with the time management, organization, and gentle spirit thing!  So, what can REALLY help? Need a bit of hope?  Practical ideas? Well, beloved, here are a few tips that have made a world of difference for me:

–>    Be sure to slow down and have a quiet time EACH DAY! Take time for God to fill YOUR cup each day. Let Him give you HIS peace, order, and best of all, schedule!  Take time to hear HIS plans for your day.  Throughout the day, listen to His gentle direction.  Be sure that you are willing to let go of the things that God wants to prune away. Without this, all else is only a band-aid!

–>    Invest in a Planner! I am the world’s worst at trying to do it all while trying desperately to remember those incredible details that are doomed to slip my brain! I decided to take a long, honest look at the things that were creating chaos. Most often, the biggest culprit was overcommitment or an underestimate of time involved with commitments. Writing down ALL commitments, along with an honest look at the time commitment involved [Read more…]

Help! I Need to Get Things Done! by Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015Struggling to get things done? Struggling with all of the distractions? Too busy to finish any of those great projects? Boy, do I relate!

I am an “idea” machine! If I had a dollar for every idea that floats through my mind, I would have an instant business! 🙂 Feel my pain?

Yes, if you are here on this site, you probably have those ideas. Need is an action plan to make them a reality? Here are some things that help me…

1. Brain Dump!

Are you thinking, “But, Cindy, the last thing that I need is a list of MORE ideas!” Brain dumping does bring out more ideas, but it is essential for productivity.

I set aside regular time to grab a notebook (or my iPad–LOVE IT!) and just dump my ideas that are floating around my brain. It helps me to have categories so I KNOW that I will find those ideas later. Once I set up a “spot” to keep my ideas, I can clear my brain.

Without brain dumping, my brain gets soooo full and distracted that I cannot focus on ANYTHING. I think it is because I am so afraid that I will forget those great ideas. 🙂 Well, it is not just that. I am also tempted to dig into some of them because they are so much more fun than the work at hand.

Relate? Why not brain dump? It will settle that deluge of ideas!

Then, what? That brings me to the next thing…

 

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2. Get a plan.

When I find myself overwhelmed and needing to re-motivate and re-charge, I pull back for a getaway with God to get my plan. Someone wrote that if we do not plan, then we are really planning to fail. I SEE THAT! At the times that I have found myself struggling to get things done because of all of the distractions and busyness of life, nothing has helped  me more to get back rolling strong like getting away with God to get His perspective and His plan. Talk about a great way to simplify, prune, and get back on track!

Maybe today you are battling with getting things done, why not pull back and get a plan? Take some time away. Take everything to the Lord in prayer. Be still before Him. Stay until you can hear His Word for you and your business. Lay down all of the options before Him. Let Him loose to move on your heart which things should be first, which things should be simplified, and which things should be pruned away all completely. He will be faithful to help you get back on track!

3. Attack!

Yes, attack! But, not just attack with the new project on your heart, before you dig into that, attack a few other things:

–> Attack procrastination–You can have a clear mind and super plan, yet be stuck. Been there? Oh! I have! In fact, I was there just last week. I had everything ready to roll and everything that I needed to get things done, but I was stuck. I was paralyzed. What do you do then? Well, I had to get honest. I was procrastinating. Procrastination is my biggest enemy to productivity. Once I saw it for what it is, I could attack procrastination and get back going strong. Want to be productive? Attack procrastination!

–> Attack clutter--Oh Yeah! Nothing distracts me more than clutter. And, clutter seems to have a magnetic attraction to me. Yes, the “stuff” clutter, the “things to do” clutter, the “life” clutter. It all follows me around like a puppy dog. Of course, it is not cuddly and sweet like a puppy dog, it drives me crazy! I won’t even know what is gnawing at me until I pull back and take a look around me. It can be the piles from projects that I am working on. It can be a never-ending to-do list. It can be things in my life that are past their time. It can even be my purse! Whatever “my clutter” is, I have to SEE IT and then ATTACK it! When I do, I am stunned at how much more I get done. Plus, I LOVE my life. Let the clutter build up and things bog down, life gets unmanageable, and I get tired and weary. Does clutter LOVE you too? Why not attack it?

–> Attack disorganization--Periodically, I will find myself in my default state-completely disorganized and MESSY! YES! Probably 20% of my books and workshops are on the topic of organization, but I still battle this one! I can assure you that I will never BE THERE when it comes to organization. However, I have learned how to manage the messies. Want the secret? Well, you read it–you have to ATTACK disorganization. Maybe it is cleaning out. Maybe it is setting up a place for everything and putting everything in its place. Maybe it is revamping your schedule to work for this season of life. Maybe it is getting all of your to-do’s and ideas organized in one spot. Maybe it is setting up systems or routines for those rocky areas of life or business. Take the time to get organized. It will make a HUGE difference. You can’t just do a little at a time. Instead, dig in and attack disorganization. You will then be ready to roll!

Ready to get things done?

Today is the day! Don’t let today slip by! Today is the day to pull back for a bit and get things ready to make those dreams your reality–your life! Take that time. Don’t stay in the struggle. Don’t let the days slip by. Let’s press past the distractions and the busyness. Let’s get laser sharp vision. Let’s press toward the mark!

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.” Philippians 3:12-16, THE MESSAGE

Cindy2015Need MORE Help?

If you need more help, don’t miss any of Cindy Rushton’s LIVE workshops that she will be teaching on these topics. She is scheduled to speak for many conventions, conferences, retreats, and Bible Studies. If you want for her to come to your area, message here today at CindyRushton@Gmail.com